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Focused Calls: As Easy As 1-2-3-4

February 26, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

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Losing control of a phone conversation is a challenge that often comes up in my coaching sessions and workshops. As a conversation expands, one or both parties bounce from topic to topic and the call ends without essential information being shared or the most crucial questions being asked.

One way to prevent this from happening is to write out, in point form, what you want to achieve on a call. Keep this list in front of you as you speak and refer to it frequently to keep yourself on track. Another way is to use numbers to create  a karaoke-type “bouncing ball” that helps everyone stay focused.

How do numbers help you have more focused phone conversations?

Using numbers gives our phone calls an agenda which we share with the other person so they can follow along. For example, I could call a client and say “I have four questions for you regarding our upcoming workshops”. 

The client now focuses on that number – four. They give the call more of their attention because it has a structure and an implied time limit. The distraction of “how long will this call take” is eliminated because we are counting to four and that is unlikely to take very long. 

The numbers are then used during the call to move from item to item (like the bouncing ball), i.e. “The first question is …”. When we reach “And the fourth question is …” both parties are prepared to end the call. There is much less chance of the conversation wandering away into unessential information.

Over the years I’ve found that three or four questions on a call work best. One or two questions implies that the call is going to be very quick so doesn’t always capture someone’s full attention. More than four questions? The impression created is one of a very long phone call, one that requires specific scheduling , which can result in delays or procrastination.

I’ve enlisted the help of Canadian singer/songwriter Feist – and The Muppets – to help you remember to count to four. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/fZ9WiuJPnNA

#InspireConversation

 

What’s The Phone Lady Doing? 

February 28 – Creating Conversation and Closing Sales, Woodscamp, Halifax

February 28 – Brief talk at Business Over Beers with Fusion Halifax, Garrison Brewing

March 1 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March 2 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, Copperfin Credit Union, (Tele-training session)

March 2 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 6 – Helping Customers Make Decisions, Javelin Technologies, (Tele-training session)

March 7 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March  8 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March 14 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On the Job, Employment Solutions Society, Bridgewater, NS

March 15 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Private Wealth Management, (Tele-training session)

March 16 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 20 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Fredericton, NB

March 21 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Halifax, NS

March 22- Phone Skills for Job Search & on the Job, Nova Scotia Community Services, Windsor, NS

March 23 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Sydney, NS

March 28 –  Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, International Student Success Program, Dalhousie University

March 29 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Job Junction, Halifax, NS

March 30 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 30 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, Cirrus Insight,  (Tele-training session)

April 12 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

April 28 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Tele-training Sessions

April 29 – Entrepreneurial Development Conference & Expo, Building Relationships on the Phone, Halifax, NS

May 3 – Improving Telephone Communication, Institute of Professional Management, Halifax, NS

May 9 – Service Excellence – Phone Skills that Build Client Relationships and Loyalty, Assante Hydrostone

May 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS

May 16 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

July 11 –  Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

August 21 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

November 7 – Coaching Your Team to Pick Up the Phone, CCUA, Virtual Conference

November 14 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

December 5 – Pick Up the Phone & Build Relationships, CCUA, Virtual Conference

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Steve Foran says:

    Fascinating idea.

  2. Natasha Marchewka says:

    YES! WONDERFUL IDEA, PHONE LADY! Simple, yet it sounds highly effective!

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